tv [untitled] CSPAN June 5, 2009 5:30am-6:00am EDT
since the situation began in iraq and tell me, what are the resources that you are finding in your experience, have the greatest wear and tear, and do you have thoughts you can share with us about how to address the situation. >> the answer is that,, these are suffering the most wear and tear because of the way that they are used. i asked my staff to give me the top five items, this is the rotary wing aviation and the ground mobility, and in one case this is the maritime platform.
we are simply spending more time on the water and this is more than we had predicted when the systems were procured. we have been -- resource adequately to do this. my concern looking ahead is simply that we sustain a level of resources that will permit us to keep the equipment going. as we look forward to forces drawing down in iraq, we will not see this happening at all. we have come to defend on the funding to keep the equipment going. we will have to find a way to work this end, based on the budget. >> on that, as we draw down the conventional forces there are
problems with making certain that you get the support of equipment, how is this playing out? is there more that needs to be done? >> this is playing out well. we have had service chief level talks with the marine corps and the chief of staff of the army, we are talking about what the challenges are and looking for ways to resolve these challenges. we understand that whether this is a small force for a large force, there needs to be someone to control the air space, and provide the support, to do all the rest of it that it takes, to look after the force that is there, we're helping them to help us by doing the detailed analysis, what we think will have to be left behind by the forces that drawdown, to sustain
the activity. we are talking about that with the services. >> can you tell us with the typical rotation cycle is, for the personnel? and how this may be affecting what you feel like you can do, with regard to keeping up with the pace. i want to be concerned about how this is affecting you. >> the service components, they have evolved into the different rotations, with the type of the equipment that they use. this ranges from about 90 days, for some of the aviators, who fly many hours at night on night-vision goggles, burning
up their hours very quickly and have to come back, with about seven months for the special forces detachments, the green berets, who have high level rotations at that pace, and this will extend to the 1 year rotations for many of the people assigned at headquarters to provide a campaign in finding continuity for the more senior levels. this is a sustainable rate right now, the predictions about how long we could sustain this were wrong, we did nothing that we could do this but the forces resilience beyond the estimates that we had, and i think that personally, we are at the maximum rate that we can sustain, but we can sustain this rate for some time longer.
it has now become the new normal, people who have been doing this have been doing this long enough to know that this is what they can expect to do. the recruiting is still healthy. if the demand did not increase, we probably -- we are probably ok. but we see the increasing demand for the special operations forces. >> it is good to have you here. >> thank you, i apologize for being late. i had some people in the office that did not want to let me go. could you talk a little bit about some of the enough ability
between the agencies, if things are being done with the interagency cooperation and challenges you may have faced, what are the challenges that you are facing? >> this is better than it has ever been, and we are now at the point where the venues for these kinds of interactions to occur, this is a matter of the people getting each other's organizations, in order to increase the efficiency. we're way ahead of where we thought we might be a couple of years ago. >> this is unrelated, but this is an area of interest to me. tell me what you can about the attempts in the movement in the
non-lethal field, with the personnel stops and the vehicles, this is not normally what would be discussed, but this would be a valuable part of winning hearts and minds. can you tell me what we need? >> we are all in favor of nonlegal technology and i think that, killing people is not the way to success anywhere, that we work. nonlethal can give you time to sort out the situation and the people. this would be a great advantage on the battlefield. special operations is in favor of any appropriate technology, but these technologies have a more broad application, we're champions of this and we are
supporters of this. but we have very few of those programs initiated within the budget itself. >> i am embarrassed to say this, i have seen some of the new technology about the each projecting apparatus, -- heat projecting apparatus, this is interesting. >> this is the active denial system. >> i could not name is better myself. is this being used or those kinds of things? >> i have seen as demonstrated but this was a couple of years ago, i do not know what has happened since then. >> a couple of areas i wanted to ask about, piracy has been emerging as a threat and a
challenge. congratulations is on the -- is the word on the operation to rescue the crew, i got a briefing from the people who took part in the operation and this was very impressive. this is what you were trained to do. if there is a houses -- hostage situation, you will respond very quickly, it was impressive to see that the training paid off. going forward, confronting this is a challenge. there are huge implications that we should try to confront but at the same time, you have other responsibilities that are just as important in afghanistan. with the media attention on piracy, if we shift to much of
the focus in that direction, we lose the focus so i want to see your role in combating this and any concerns they have about how this may distract from the other missions. >> there is a robust capability to take on piracy and special operations contributes to some of the capabilities, as it was entered a couple of months ago. this is a matter of policy, it is my responsibility to do what we are asked to do, and we keep elements of the force on standby, to respond to this situation, and if they are infrequent, we would consider this not to be much --
>> this has always been the case, you have had this force. i did not mean to interrupt. >> this is a policy issue, but the question is, are we going to prevent piracy will respond to this with the military force. we have been in the business of responding in providing to those who respond to this. >> certainly. >> i will pass. i have more questions -- but you have anything you would like to add? >> i want to ask you if you feel that the partnership with nato and the special operations capability is working well? >> we were addressing this
earlier, the special operations coordinated center, is an up and running organization that is not fully capable yet, but the relationships that have occurred have developed a strong bond among the special operations forces. i was able to go to the first conference, and 28 countries came to the conference, it was remarkable how similar the conversations were and how the vision has across the special operations forces. some of them say that they have more in common with the special operations forces of other nations than their own nation because of the way that they exercise together. there is the opportunity to take this to the next step, i am just not certain of the next step is. we may explore a way to operate
-- operation allies this -- operationalize this. >> i took a trip to iraq and we visited the special operations forces, nato command, and i cannot tell you how impressed we wear with the coordination, we did not find a similar accord nation in other parts of nato, this is a major challenge in afghanistan, to find out how to get the partner nations, who would be far too ambitious to be on the same page. with how we will confront afghanistan and pakistan, nato is set up the way that they are set up, this is difficult to manage this many different
countries, i certainly have a respect for the dignity is that you are facing. we had meetings on this increasing frustration, the last meeting did not have enough time and this was inspirational. you can actually bring this many nations together in a way that is affected. my plea would be that we were trying to spread this out more broadly among the other aspects, a couple of things i wanted to ask you about. >> you need to a trivia more countries to nato and this conference. we see an extension of special operations cooperation beyond nato, and those who participate in other operations, they may work with the country and they may become part of the team.
the first annual conference was attended by some countries that were not in nato, because they choose to develop those relationships. this is very encouraging. >> this is in valuable, with the mantra of counterinsurgency. many of these nations are now involved. i want to talk to you about the contract in issues. we find ways to enable this to have a slightly more nimble approach, this is difficult when you are working with so much speed, by the time you have acquired the product, this is out of date. i am curious how you think this is going, and i want to have an
opportunity to respond. the washington post has been critical of this, following the instances. i have a strong bias that this is inhibiting the ability to move forward. this does not mean that we do not need to have a transparent process and make certain that this is in the interest of the taxpayers. >> i am encouraged by what they have said about looking at how the acquisition is done, within nine to cost-reduction, and streamlining acquisition processes. within the special operations command, we are intended to be more agile than the services can be with the acquisition programs, with a budget for the
special operations peculiar -- the pri. actions that we take. i focused on this a couple of years ago, investigating in our own house, many of the benefits from this process for articles that we led growth, and i thought that we were operating comfortably, in the middle of the authorization, not pushing the edge of this, so we have several initiatives to provide more agility internally, and along the way we have been granted relief from participation, in the service wide joint acquisition processes, which have been applied to the special operations programs.
the joint chiefs has -- have relieve us of these projects, this is a special operations peculiar program and we operate under the same law and policy, we have a way to go, in terms of continuing to scrape off the barnacles, but we are making progress in this regard. and we will continue to report how this is going. i am encouraged by what we have seen. this was not an acquisition contrasting issue, this was a contract that we led with a single provider of many services to the special operations committee, to modify the equipment, they maintain the equipment, and they repair the
equipment, and they store the equipment, and they build small items, and design and build those, and this is a comprehensive set of activities, that they perform for us, and the department of defense -- they look into this, and i highlighted three findings, two of them we concurred with, and have said in several actions to resolve working with them, to their satisfaction. the third one, had to do with a potential anti deficiency violation, and we needed to conduct a review of this, and we identified that the finding had some merit, and there is the potential for a violation and so
this week, the comptroller has initiated an investigation into this, this is our responsibility. we have nine months to report the results of the investigation, we have 90 days to respond to the release of the final report. >> can i ask one more question? >> we would be interested in your take on afghanistan and pakistan, particularly in two areas, as it was highlighted yesterday and the day before yesterday, talking about the balance between confronting the enemy and being able to track down terrorists, and protecting
against civilian casualties and i agree with the general, we need the people of afghanistan on our side, the greatest threats on the civilian casualties, this is generated by taliban propaganda. and we need to get better at countering the propaganda. there is also in real concern and the issue is the afghan government. the people of afghanistan do not believe this and the best approach is to try to go local as much as possible. they are more likely to trust the local tribes, not to say that we should not try to make the national government better. in balancing that going forward, what is the best
approach to striking a balance, and with pakistan, this is affecting pakistan as well. there was some testimony about this with a good summary, the strikes are actually well thought of because the people living there have been dealing with these violent people who have been in their community, this is in pakistan itself, where the civilian population sees this as a threat and is less likely to be supportive. pakistan needs to learn counter insurgency, and i will not go through the challenge is there, because you know them well. we have to be able to help them and at the same time, we have to play a limited role, the sovereignty is very important,
it is incredibly important to give them support for the government. my questions are, what can we do to better help pakistan get to the counterinsurgency level where they need to be, to be successful in swat -- this what valley -- the swat valley. how do we do this and by the people that we need to fight, -- fight the people that we need to fight? >> as the general said in a his hearing a couple of days ago, if i can go to pakistan i will say that, we cannot help pakistan more than they want to be helped. one filter on this, and the willingness to be held is how
the military is perceived in pakistan. this is the strongest element in the element of government on which the people depend and we have to be careful in recognizing that we cannot take action, to cause this military to look like an extension of our military, we can only help them in a way that is helping them, and they are much greater experts in this than we are. the best thing to do is develop relationships that will road whenever atmosphere of distrust is existing, to help the people of pakistan understand that the interests belong to them and the commitment as long term. this is a long-term commitment for the good of pakistan and the stability of the region.
this will require us to work very carefully with the government of pakistan and the military on the frontier. and regarding afghanistan, i would highlight that afghanistan is a complex environment, counterinsurgency is very different than it has been anywhere else. this is really a village by village, counterinsurgency, one of the things that i find myself saying is that presence without value is seen as occupation and in afghanistan, occupation is resisted. it is the culture to resist the outsiders and they pride themselves on a history of resisting outside influence. much of afghanistan has not felt
the presence and the impact of the central government ever, and as you have said, i think that the large part of the gold and is there, is to encourage the people who are deciding where they will -- where the allegiance will be, they are placing their bets on a legitimate government, at whatever level that this says. if this is tribal or local, where a federal government. this will ultimately come down to where they placed a bet. and i think that in absence of other metrics, this will be the sense that we have on where people are placing their bets that will lead us to understand whether the efforts are successful in afghanistan.
this will require a careful approach and a small footprint -- as molly for print -- as small a footprint as we can get away with, and the considerations as part of that. it will require -- a shift towards -- more of the shift towards regional knowledge, however this is obtained. we have to get beyond in generalizations in afghanistan to the true knowledge of tribal relationships and family history, the nuances of the weather and the terrain and how this is affecting how the business is done. how their world is operating. if we are to be predictable in
these facts, i think a large part of what we have to develop is the ability to be -- i do not mean predictable, i mean accurate in the predictions of the effects. we have to have a better sense of the impact as we put this together, to work in the remote regions of afghanistan. this is a long-term commitment, in order to build the depth of knowledge, and allow for this to have the impact, in the places where this needs to occur, this will not be people deciding overnight where they have their allegiance, we have to convince them over a long time that they are better off placing themselves with the local government, then with the
legitimate power players in the region. >> i thought of another question, going to africa for the moment, we went to burkina faso and talked to them, mali, nigeria. we know that there is activity from the violent extremist groups that are there, and the franchise that is most present in algeria, but also in vast areas of mali that are largely on populated, there is some activity from groups sympathetic to al qaeda. we have this in some places, not a great deal. how concerned about it -- how concerned are you about this area? there is a